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USDA invests $1.4 million to protect Kansas natural resources
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SALINA  – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that it is investing $1.4 million in Kansas for a partner-driven conservation project through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will leverage $1.5 million Partner contributions in Kansas. 

“We are excited that this project was selected for funding. The Ogallala Aquifer is a critical resource in this region,” said Troy J. Munsch, Kansas Acting State Conservationist. “We have a long and successful relationship with many of the Partners involved in this project.”

RCPP uses a Partner-driven approach to fund innovative solutions to natural resource challenges. Together with NRCS, Partners implement a variety of conservation activities with private landowners and producers. These include land management practices and systems, conservation easements, and watershed structures. The mix of conservation activities carried out under each project is dependent on a project’s goals, objectives, and conservation benefits.

RCPP projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes. They support diverse agricultural and natural resource objectives. These include helping farmers and ranchers improve water quality, soil health and drought resiliency, protecting drinking water supplies, and enhancing wildlife habitat.

In Kansas, NRCS will contribute $1.4 million and leverage $1.5 million from Partner contributions in order to amplify conservation efforts.  The project will address source water depletion, as well as aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Nationally, NRCS is investing $206 million for 48 Partner-driven conservation projects across 29 States, while leveraging nearly $300 million in Partner contributions. 

RCPP was first authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. In the 2018 Farm Bill there were changes to strengthen the program and simplify its rules. RCPP is now a stand-alone program with $300 million annually available for Partner-driven projects. In addition to the general RCPP projects announced today, NRCS has already awarded more than $50 million for 18 renewals of 2014 Farm Bill projects. A separate RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA) funding announcement is currently open.

Since 2015, RCPP has combined $1 billion in NRCS investments with close to $2 billion in Partner dollars to implement conservation practices nationwide. There are currently 341 active RCPP projects and close to 2,000 RCPP Partners.